It's a common cliché: the worldly professor who charms and mesmerizes his adoring young student.
Mathematician John Nash, captured in the Hollywood film A Beautiful Mind, was one of them. As was biologist and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.
And recently, University of British Columbia creative writing professor Steven Galloway officially joined the club when he apologized via his lawyer for having a two-year affair with one of his students.
The disclosure follows a year-long controversy surrounding Galloway's abrupt dismissal over "serious allegations." Few details have been revealed; the matter is currently under review.
Like other major Canadian universities, UBC doesn't prohibit professors from dating students — although conflict of interest rules require them to disclose the relationship to a superior and recuse themselves from any decisions that may affect the student.
But it prompts the question: In an era of increasing discussion of sexual harassment on campus, should universities
allow relationships between faculty and students at all?
Faculty members at various institutions debate the pros and cons of shielding freshmen from themselves (or least their performance) in the form of "covered" or "shadow" grades on transcripts.
Like any big institution, the Toronto District School Board has problems with equity. And as at any big institution, those problems are familiar.
Put broadly, Toronto public schools are places where wealthy and/or white students are more likely to have their individual needs met, and succeed, while poor and/or Indigenous and black students are most likely to be suspended, and drop out. The playing field is not level.
And it’s well-established that specialized programs are sites of that inequity, largely filled with Toronto’s most privileged children (save those who go to private schools), the ones from homes stocked with art supplies, whose parents know how to successfully advocate for their kids.
The transition from high school to post-secondary education presents challenges for students. Many variables have been identified as significant predictors of student achievement. Resiliency, defined as the ability to overcome challenges and adversity, may be particularly relevant during the adjustment to post-secondary education. This study assesses whether resiliency incrementally predicts student success after controlling for additional predictors. Participants were 277 undergraduate students who completed self-reports of academic skills, resiliency, personality variables, emotional intelligence (EI), and perfectionism. Students’ year-end GPA was collected from the university registrar. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that resiliency, measured by sense of mastery, negatively predicted GPA after controlling for other predictors. The sense of mastery facet of self-efficacy positively predicted GPA; however, the adaptability facet was a significant negative predictor of GPA.
Findings suggest that self-efficacy is a salient predictor of academic success, and that strong academic skills may serve as a protective factor for poor adaptability.
In the second edition of Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education: Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations, editors Bic Ngo and Kevin Kumashiro bring together multiple perspectives that examine, analyze, and bring to the fore systemic oppressive social relations. They investigate racism, (hetero)sexism, white privilege, classism, and the global neoliberal economic system, as well as offer tools—or lenses—for conceptualizing anti-oppressive education.
What myths about constructing a teaching persona merit review? Teachers regularly exchange general advice about how to establish an identity in the classroom. Like most myths, these contain kernels of truth, but we believe their conclusions require a critical look. What are your beliefs about teaching persona, how it develops, and the role it plays in student learning?
You have chosen to teach in higher education because you are a subject-matter specialist with a tremendous knowledge of your discipline. As you enter or continue your career, there is another field of knowledge you need to know: teaching and learning. What we know about teaching and learning continues to grow dramatically. It includes developing effective instructional strategies, reaching today’s students, and teaching with technology. Where is this
knowledge base? Books, articles in pedagogical periodicals, newsletters, conferences, and online resources provide ample help. Take advantage of your institution’s center for teaching and learning or other professional development resources.
BY UNDERSTANDING HOW THE BRAIN WORKS, educators are better equipped to help students with everything from focusing attention to increasing retention. That’s the promise of brain-based learning, which draws insights from neurology, psychology, technology, and other fields. Bringing this information to the classroom can help teachers engage diverse learners, offer effective feedback that leads to deeper understanding, and create a rich learning environment that attends to students’ social and emotional needs along with their developing brains.
Chances are, you already know more about brain-based learning than you think you do. When you introduce topics to your students, do you begin by activating prior knowledge? That helps learners build on what they already know, strengthening connections in the brain. Do you use tools like graphic organizers, songs, or rhymes? These strategies help students represent their thinking visually, kinesthetically, and phonetically. These techniques all deserve a place in your tool kit because they get the brain primed for learning.
Canada has enjoyed exceptional and sustained economic growth for the past 15 years – strong commodity prices have created a currency advantage in export markets, the R&D collaboration between universities and the private sector is strong, post-secondary education attainment is one of the highest amongst OECD countries, the overall unemployment rate has fallen, and the number of small and medium enterprises have risen in the last decade. However, as international competition for talent and capital continue to intensify, now may be the time to review one of the critical elements for any economy – skills and learning.
One of the oldest — and most tired — debates in the education world is about skills versus content. For years, especially in K-12 circles, teachers, administrators, and education researchers have debated whether skills or content are more important for students to learn.
The apparent dichotomy has proven surprisingly sturdy. In an April 2016 report on skills as “the new canon,” The Chronicle detailed an effort at Emory University to shift faculty focus toward teaching the skill of using and evaluating evidence. The story quoted Emory lecturer Robert Goddard, who worried that the move to skills-focused courses was “doing a disservice to the students by not having a more coherent, uniform body of content to deliver.” Such a conception suggests a zero-sum game: More time spent on skills necessarily means less time spent on content.
But if a consensus has emerged in this long-standing debate, it’s one that pushes against an either/or approach.
Small and simple ways to improve your academic writing
In the past few decades, those of us working in institutions of higher education have seen an instructional paradigm shift. Given the growth in research on learning, our views of how people learn best have developed over the last few decades; from behaviorist perspectives of learning, we have also come to understand learning from cognitive and social perspectives. (For a more in-depth discussion of these issues, see Barkley, Major, and Cross, 2014, as well as articles in this special issue). This development has caused higher education instructors to modify their instructional practices as a result. Many instructors have moved away from a sole diet of traditional lecture, with the occasional short-answer question to the class in which students listen, repeat, and occasionally apply, toward a modified menu of pedagogical platforms in which, much of the time, students are active participants in the learning process. Higher education faculty, then, have gone about this task of engaging students actively in learning in a number of important ways by adopting a range of instructional approaches.
Background/Context: The assessment of students, along with teachers and school systems, has largely taken place within a context of positivist science. An enormous range of scholarship now challenges the positivist paradigm, offering a social espistemological alternative. This alternative invites a re-examination of assessment processes and their policy implications.
Halfway through this past semester, I sent an email to a student asking him, among other things, about his poor attendance and participation in my course. In response, after some earnest apologies and promises to do better, the student wrote: “My expectation for this class was to learn how to write and read at a college level. But so often, I feel like I am taking a gender issues class and not a writing and reading course — which frustrates me.”
The class in question is called “Writing and Reading,” and is indeed focused on helping students become “college level” writers and readers. But of course, to practice reading skills you actually need to read something. So I designed a course that focuses on feminism and related issues. About half of our readings have something to do with feminism, gender, or sexuality (the other half are readings about the writing process).
I have been teaching for 20 years, and after a range of adjunct and visiting gigs and two tenure-track jobs (one of which ended because the institution was on the verge of financially collapsing after the economic crash in 2008), I am up for tenure and promotion this year. As virtually every tenure-track professor experiences, I, too, have had to make choices about when, where, how and why to speak out and about what, and have had to weigh issues of silence and voice against the hope and need for job security, health insurance, retirement benefits and the like.
I have had to decide what is worth it and what is not when I have been on the brink of making my viewpoints clear to the campus community and the larger community.
Being untenured is the ultimate manifestation of “You just have to know how and when to pick your battles.” If President Trump could have been an adjunct or tenure-track professor first, perhaps he would be less impulsive and reactive, thinking before tweeting, speaking, banning and dictating.
Having coached academic writers for more than a decade, I've noticed a pattern that tends to stall the development
and publication of their research.
I’ve work with a diverse group of humanists, social scientists, and STEM researchers, but they all hear the same drumbeat: "Get it out there!" The tremendous pressure to complete quality research and then send manuscripts out quickly can warp the writing process. In such a frantic atmosphere, even rigorously trained academics who care deeply about their topics can find themselves working from the outside in, rather than the reverse.
The Education For Practice Institute led thedevelopment of the professional and practice-based education (P&PBE) standards for Charles Sturt University undergraduate and graduate entry courses in 2010. This exercise was conducted with
extensive consultation with the CSU community and led to the development of 70 standards based on the four aspects identified as influencing the quality of learning and teaching at course level: learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, course infrastructure at a local level, and infrastructure at the university level.
We live in challenging times. Ours is an era in which evidence, intellectual inquiry and expertise are under sustained attack. The phrases ‘post truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ have slipped into common use. Agendas have displaced analysis in much of our public debate. And we are all the poorer for it.
In Australia and around the world, we’ve seen the emergence of a creeping cynicism – even outright hostility – towards evidence and expertise. We saw this sentiment in the post-Brexit declaration by British Conservative MP Michael Gove that “the people of this country have had enough of experts”.
Should copyright law lock down music and literature to protect the ﬁnancial interests of rights-holders? Or should it promote broad access to, and use of, intellectual goods? These questions are at the core of the growing public debate over the need for fair and balanced copyright law, a debate that college and university students have a critical stake in. As creators and owners of copyright material (essays, articles, theses and multi-media productions), students need to protect their work from unjust appropriation. But to study, research, write and create new knowledge, students also need ready access, at a reasonable cost, to the copyrighted works of others. This tri-part perspective—of use, creation and ownership of copyright—gives students special credibility in the struggle for fair and balanced copyright law.
If you could start a new university from scratch, how would you do it? You have been tasked with deciding every detail of the academic program — the major requirements, the design of the courses, the class sizes, the weekly schedules. Imagine being unconstrained by tradition, administration, or money. What would you change, if you could?
That was the amazing opportunity offered to four psychologists — Rodolpho Azzi, Carolina Martuscelli Bori, Fred S. Keller, and John Gilmour Sherman — in the early 1960s. The government of Brazil was creating a new university in the country’s capital, Brasilia, and the founders had asked Azzi and Bori — then faculty members at the University of Sao Paulo, along with their American colleagues Keller and Sherman — to create a department of psychology. They were given almost total freedom to design the department from the ground up, beginning with an introductory course for 60 students, most of whom were interested in continuing on as psychology majors.